A Select Sorority: Your KHQA Girls 2013 All Do-or-Die Basketball Team
Hard to believe we've been doing this now for 18 years but here we are. Welcome to the 2013 KHQA Basketball All Do or Die Team; our attempt to put some punctuation on the season that was....
The awards you see below are nothing but our highly subjective, completely opinionated take on what was an incredibly fun winter's worth of basketball. We are not are experts in any sense of the word. I assure you: our picks here have no impact on recruiting, college scholarships, or future success. This column is provided for nothing more than entertainment purposes and should be enjoyed in that spirit. If you want to have a healthy, constructive, positive debate with us over any pick or omission, I am happy to do so with you as you can contact me at email@example.com and we can better illustrate our points and why we made them and I am certainly willing to hear you out. But again in the end, what we do here is merely a reflection of our opinion, nothing more. No more meaningful or valid than the basketball opinions of anyone else. And I hope no one takes too much offense or gets to overheated about what transpires here.
2013 KHQA Girls Basketball Player of the Year
JORDAN FRERICKS, Quincy Notre Dame
Rationale: Jordan joins some very select company here as a repeat winner of our top girls basketball honor: Ruth Kipping, Dewella Holiday, and Jennifer Goetz. Those are the pantheon area names of the last two decades and I'd put Jordan's career resume up against any of them now that it is complete. Three state championships. A third place finish in the Miss Illinois Basketball voting. A grand total of four career high school losses in four years. And the most well stuffed Senior Season stat line we've seen in a long time. Jordan's high school Swan Song stats saw her average 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 steals and nearly 3 blocks per game; all while shooting a tidy 62% from the field. This mind you, while playing alongside another First Team All State selection. Factor in the praise Jordan drew this season from Eric Orne for stepping out of her shyness and adopting a true leadership role for this powerhouse program and you really do have the definition of a bulletproof resume. Again, for all of that, I think Jordan's even more indelible legacy is the fact that she and her teammates have done more to make High School Girls Basketball visible, mainstream and top of mind (in one of Illinois traditional bastion of great boys play, no less) than any ad campaign or forced political correctness. People who loved basketball loved watching the Lady Raiders play. They wanted to watch them play because they were the height of the art form and as entertaining as any boys team around. And they turned out in back to back nights, 2200 strong, to watch the girls on the big stage at the KHQA SUBWAY Superfan Shootout. They were big ticket television viewing when their state games were broadcast locally for the last two years. Bottom line, Jordan and her friends were like the basketball circus come to town and everyone wanted a glimpse. And the ride was truly amazing and historic, one that will be talked about in these parts for decades to come. A standard not unlike the 1981 Blue Devils, but also unique in their own form of accomplishment.
Runner-Up: KASSIDY GENGENBACHER, QND
Fan Vote: BRIANNE BEGEMAN, Unity
2012-Jordan Frericks, QND
2011-Tiffany King, West Central
2010-Karlee Gengenbacher, Quincy Notre Dame
2009-Tori Niemann, Canton
2008-Marley Hall, West Hancock
2007-McKensey Long, Carthage
2006-Mikal Bencomo, Clopton
2005-Sara Liesen, Quincy Notre Dame
2004-Lexanne Dickerson, Carthage
2003-Jennifer Goetz, Cardinal Stritch
2002-Sam Quigle, Southeastern
2001-Jennifer Goetz, Cardinal Stritch
2000-Dewella Holliday, Monroe City
1999-Dewella Holliday, Monroe City
1998-Ruth Kipping, Quincy High
1997-Ruth Kipping, Quincy High
2013 KHQA Girls Basketball Coach of the Year:
ERIC ORNE, Quincy Notre Dame
Rationale: The challenges keep mounting exponentially (growing pressure of ridiculously long win streak, enriched strength of regular season schedule, the ever growing bull's-eye,a jump to 3A Postseason Classification) and yet Eric Orne continues to make this impossible dance look decidedly easy. Historically speaking, the list of Tri State Coaches, in any sport, who rival Orne's career resume of achievement has grown decidedly short. Three straight state championships (just the fourth time that's been done in IHSA annals. The first ever back to back titles in different classes. Fifty three straight wins. We've entered some incredibly rarified air right here. We are talking about a dynasty that ranks favorably with Jerry Leggett era Quincy High basketball, Deke Pollard era Pittsfield Saukee Football and more recently the great Carthage grid run under Jim Unruh from 1998-2000. We are talking about legendary, incredible stuff here; a success rate made all the more impressive by the fact that under Eric's watch, a girls sport has become so incredibly broad reaching and mainstream to this community that 2300 fans will show up for a girls game in this town and no one bats and eye or says a dismissive word about it. That, to me, is Eric Orne's greater legacy. His teams have created a bridge to fans who never would have given girls sports much thought. If I had a buck for every person (many of them living outside the Quincy City limits) who told me they would rather watch a Lady Raiders Girls Basketball Game this season than any boys or college team in our area, I'd be a heck of a lot wealthier. Bottom line, the Lady Raiders were the hottest entertainment ticket in the Tri States this year and that speaks volumes. And while Eric Orne is quick to point out how blessed he has been with talent and how the it's the girls themselves that make the show, lets not forget that this outsized run of success didn't just start three years ago. QND has won with differing casts and other stars. You can put all the A List stars you want in a cinematic production. If the Direction isn't pitch perfect, the movie will still be a flop. The same holds true for Basketball where Orne's handling of every peak and valley has been precisely on point. The guy has become the ultimate high school sports CEO and his record backs it up. He is the best in the coaching business right now and it's not even close for second. And even more impressively, he's done it with a group of Class Act Young Women who positively represent this community in a manner that even if they couldn't dribble a basketball or hit a lay-up, would still do their hometown proud. Point blank, this whole phenomenon has been nothing short of a Perfect Storm. And Eric Orne has indisputably been the perfect leader for it. .
Runner-Up: CHRIS PARSONS, Palmyra
Fan Vote: MATT LONG, CSE
2012-Eric Orne, Quincy Notre Dame
2011-Eric Orne, Quincy Notre Dame
2010-Mike Johnson, Marion County
2009-Ken Schuster, West Hancock
2008-Eric Orne, Quincy Notre Dame
2007-Bruce Martin, Routt
2006-Zach Keene, Carthage
2005-Jerry Jerome, Keokuk
2004-Jay Baldwin, Holy Trinity
2003-Matt Long, Central
2002-Kent O'Laughlin, South Shelby
2001-Tony Sargent, Cardinal Stritch
2000-Bob Plourde, Monroe City
1999-Randy Spratt, Marion County
1998-Bill Lapp, Carthage
1997-Jerry Jerome, Warsaw
2013 KHQA BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(as voted exclusively by KHQA Viewers)
TORIE CONOVER, Central Southeastern
2013 ALL DO OR DIE TEAM
First Team Selections
Starter: KELSEY SCHERDER, Bowling Green
Why She's Here: Tremendously versatile all around player who was the primary source of scoring on a 22 win squad. Kelsey averaged a team high 11 points per game this season for the Lady Bobcats and shot right at 50% from the field on her two point attempts. She also knocked down a team high 24 triples this season. But that is a small piece of the puzzle here. Bowling Green's calling card as a team was defense and Kelsey created an outsized presence on that end of the floor, netting Bowling Green nearly two blocked shots and three steals per contest. Bottom line, she brings a lot to the table, both tangibly and intangibly, in all phases of the game.
Reserve: BROOKLYN MOORE, Unity
Why She's Here: Hardworking, bankable production. At 13 points and 8 rebounds nightly, Brooklyn Moore delivered top end value front court value for a post player; and delivered it with great consistency. Those numbers are made even more impressive that she did so playing alongside another legitimate stat sheet stuffer; which tends to deflate everyone's final totals. In NBA parlance, Brooklyn was kind of a Greg Monroe type; a post player who gives you a little bit of everything. Thought she became a very adept mid-ranger shooter and excellent distributor out of the post. And I am a sucker post players who attack the basketball like pesky guards. Miss Moore was among the best interior disrupters around, snaring 3.6 steals a contests, which is just outlier type defensive presence.
Reserve: ABBY LASHMETT, West Central
Why She's Here: A Cornerstone for tomorrow. Second Team IBCA All State selection flat gets it done on the Offensive Glass and creates enormous interior presence for a team that otherwise puts four girls on the perimeter and jacks up threes at a frenetic pace. Abby is a gifted rebounder and as naturally clever an interior scorer as I saw this season. Great feet, really certain hands. The girl is gifted beyond her years working through contact to get her shots off and will get to the charity stripe at a prodigious rate over the course of her career. She's pretty darned good there as well collecting easy points at the line. Abby's ceiling on the defensive end could be very high as well. Already has undeniable star quality, not to mention as much forward potential as any forward in Tri State Basketball.
Reserve: LIZ LINBERGER, North Shelby
Why She's Here: Scoring ability. Granted North Shelby wasn't as visible as other programs in our area this season because of a sub-500 record but the Lady Raider's Senior stalwart was a First Team All District and All Conference pick for a very specific reason: few could stop her from getting buckets. Though a bit undersized, Liz's was so quick and reactive that more traditional post players could not stay in front of her in the post. Tough, fearless young lady with a very soft touch around the basket and a real knack for sliding around defenses to create shot opportunities. Very savvy rebounder and smart passer as well. She was a bit miscast in Shelbyville having to play a role that didn't ideally fit her size but on this squad; with this level of talent around her; methinks Elizabeth Linberger would make someone a whale of a pure three.
Second Team Selections
Starter: KENZIE GROSSMAN, Mark Twain
Why She's Here: Gives you the Anthony Davis vibe on defense with her uncanny ability to block shots, despite being just 5'9". Superb overall athlete who runs the floor really well. Carved out a much bigger role for herself on offense as a Junior. She's going to be really tough next season.
Reserve: MADELYN HYER, Liberty
Why She's Here: Best Freshman in the area this season and ceaselessly productive. Good combination of footwork, strength, and touch around the basket. See her ultimately as a smaller, quicker version of Tori Kuhn going forward if she continues to work.
Reserve: AUDREY FREEMAN, Macon
Why She's Here: For my money, the most versatile all around healthy (apologies to Ashton Luttrull) player in the Clarence Cannon Conference this season. Very unselfish player who tends to impact every column on the stat sheet on a nightly basis.
Third Team Selections
Starter: MARY BETH HUGENBERG, QND
Reserve: HARLI LINDSEY, Bowling Green
Reserve: JADA MATHISON, Central Lee
First Team Selections
Starter: VANESSA MARKERT, Brown County
Why She's Here: The Next Great Franchise Player in Tri State Girls Basketball. Vanessa continues to see her star ascend at a frightening level, with a host of Division Two Schools already showing significant recruiting interest and a smattering of Division One programs starting to keep tabs on her. The 6'2" Sophomore is an unfair combination of size and athletic skills who has a Marley Hall type ability to fuse guard skills with traditional post presence. Vanessa led the area in scoring at 22.4 points per game and did so on incredibly impressive percentages, including a nearly 64% efficiency from the floor and better than 80% at the charity stripe. All of this, mind you, facing constant double and sometimes triple teams. I've seen her handle the ball and pass at a level that would be the envy of many an area guard. And on top of it all, Vanessa is a game changing presence at the defensive end in swatting and redirecting shots. More than anything, I love her approach. Seems to be a very driven, intense young lady who is all business on the court. Just a fabulous all around player and a nice touchtone for area fan's to keep tabs on the next two years and continue our region's strong tradition of great girls players.
Reserve: RACHEL DUNLAP, Keokuk
Why She's Here: Relentless presence on both the offensive and defensive glass who averaged nine rebounds per game. Very sly defensive presence who not only could block shots but boasted some of the best reactive defensive instincts of any front court player in our area at 2.3 steals per game. Really impressed with the strides Rachel made this season as a high efficiency scorer for the Chiefs, leading her team with a very tidy, hard earned 15.2 points per contest. Wonderful young lady who excelled both on the court (Conference Co-Player of the Year) and off (4.0 GPA, ranked 1st in her class academically) Just one of those too-good-to-be true type people whose hard work honing her basketball game this past season really paid off.
Reserve: TAYLOR BURDETTE, Central Lee
Why She's Here: Presence. Taylor's run in Donnellson proved to be an impactful one with the Lady Hawks fashioning a 74-21 record over her four year tenure in the middle. Her overall defensive numbers dipped just a little bit as a Senior, largely because the supporting cast around her became so much stronger this season, but Taylor still averaged better than eight rebounds and nearly two blocked shots per game. She was as difficult a presence to reckon with as existed in Tri State Basketball as most opponents simply stopped challenging her altogether in the low blocks. To her credit, Taylor has become a more and more polished offensive player with each passing season and her ceiling, headed into her career at AIB Business College, seems to be immense. Great kid with a very bright future who will be sorely missed in Donnellson going forward.
Second Team Selections
Starter: JAELYN KEENE, Jacksonville
Why She's Here: Arguably Tri State's most gifted athlete among underclassman, averaged an impressive 17 points and 10 rbs this season for the Crimsons.
Reserve: JORDAN FLETCHER, Quincy High
Why She's Here: Incredibly high ceiling, feisty work rate and innate shot blocking ability. UMSL pledge figures to be an even better player at the more physical college level.
Reserve: ALYSSA HEAVNER, Pittsfield/Pleasant Hill
Why She's Here: Most improved girls player I saw this season. A relentless rebounder. And one of the best leaders and highest character kids in the sport.
Third Team Selections
Starter: RACHEL KEMPKER, Holy Trinity
Reserve: MADISON STEINKAMP, Central-Southeastern
Reserve: ERIN SULLIVAN, Macomb
First Team Selections
Starter: BREANNE BEGEMAN, Unity
Why She's Here: The ability to stuff a stat sheet. While her calling card skill may be her stellar perimeter shooting, Breanne carved out a nice niche as a true Point Forward for the Lady Mustangs, averaging six assists per game and taking care of much of her team's handling and distribution duties. She was also a relentless presence on the glass, chiming in with better than nine rebounds a night. Bottom line, Breanne did a lot of heavy lifting in this equation. For a player who was so good behind the three point arch, I though she showed a lot of additional value as well this past season getting inside the paint and scoring a lot of hustle buckets. And maybe "added value" is the best possible justification for the esteem in which we hold her game. Breanne gives you those outlier stats that maybe you don't get from a cut from the traditional model swing player. Culver Stockton is getting a real recruiting steal here.
Reserve: CASSIDY JOHNSTON, South Shelby
Why She's Here: Criminally undervalued and a bit obscured playing on a team that won just five games, this 5'10" Junior is worthy of your attention. Granted, there is room for improvement here in the scoring efficiency department, but remember also that she received the lion's share of opponents Defensive attention on a team that was fighting all season long to cultivate other options. Sensational numbers otherwise at 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks per, not to mention a pretty smooth shooting stroke at the charity stripe. Her best asset, for our purposes? A relentless ethic on the Offensive Glass. She's going to be really tough as a senior and I think there is ample growth potential here as well for the Lady Birds as a whole around this lynchpin contributor.
Second Team Selections
Starter: KAIT HERTER, Beardstown
Why She's Here: Plays as hard without the basketball in her hands as anyone in the area. First Team All Prairieland pick provides leadership, smarts, toughness and stellar intangibles to go along with a very balanced skill set.
Reserve: MEGAN HOOPER, Palmyra
Why She's Here: When healthy, exceptional slasher who provided the undersized Lady Panthers some much needed interior presence, using her quickness and athletic ability to compensate against bigger front court players. Finished the year with a team high 5.5 rebounds on the season
CASSIDY FOLEY, QND
Why She's Here: Not easy to get noticed when you are playing with a pair of All Staters every night but Cassidy contributed a ton for the State Champs as a source of stellar ir undersized rebounding, defense, and occasional scoring when needed.
Third Team Selections
Starter: DEVAN JOHNSON, Marion County
Reserve: HANNAH RELLER, Quincy High
e: COURTNEY KADLEC, Bowling Green
First Team Selections
Starter: CARLY SPALDING, Monroe City
Why She's Here: Blazing, game changing speed. See also the host of State Track and Field titles and medals she has amassed in her career. That athleticism, however, translated as never before for Carly in her Senior Season of basketball, netting her honors as the Clarence Cannon Conference Player of the Year. And why not with the eye popping nightly stat line she produced: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and nearly 4 assists every single game out. Throw an errant pass anywhere in her general vicinity and it was coming back the other direction for an easy layup. Hard to find a kid West of the Mississippi who cast a bigger defensive shadow on a game. Carly wasn't just the most athletically gifted player in Northeast Missouri, she coupled that with being arguably its hardest working and smartest player as well. Carly's leadership was on full display in helping Monroe City push it's program to a 20-6 record and a couple of Tournament titles as well; a great recapturing of momentum for a storied program that had struggled some in recent years. It would not have happened absent Carly; one of the benchmark student athletes and character kids in all of the Tri State sports.
Reserve: TRACI KELLER, Central Lee
Why She's Here: Scoring pop from the point. Central Lee's diminutive floor leader proved herself an ideal "one and a half guard" by emerging as the leading scorer for a 20 win Lady Hawk team. She tallied a team high 15.7 points per game, including a tidy 30% shooting clip from three point range. Traci was also among the area's most active passing lane defenders, with 108 steals this season. Very steady player with the basketball in her hands as well, averaging just under three turnovers a game for a player who was among the more ball dominant in Tri State Basketball. Like former Clopton star Mikal Benecomo before her, Traci's impact ranged well beyond here supposed "size limitations." Just a fabulous all around kid who was smart enough and driven enough (good luck finding a more avid gym rat) to turn herself into an All State Player and a future college point guard at Lindenwood for Tony Francis. Won't lie, those are my favorite kind of success stories. And it didn't hurt her cause her that Traci was good for at least one Sensational Seven level steal or blind pass every time we threw the camera on her.
Reserve: GRACI BASTERT, Illini West
Why She's Here: Outsized production with a minimum negatives. Graci is the very definition of a spark plug; a natural scorer who has turned herself into one of the region's savviest and most effective floor generals. Point blank, she has grown a lot, both in terms of the position she now must man and her role of leadership at Illini West. No Tri State Point Guard was more efficient as a shooter. Graci led the Chargers in scoring at 11 points per night and did so at a rate of 57% from the field. That's post player type production. Much of that success comes from Graci's ability to defend at an A+ level, force turnovers, and convert easy lay-up after easy lay-up at the other end. She rarely forced a bad shot and for my money, Graci was the cleanest and most perceptive distributor I saw this season; making a killing for teammates off back door cuts and ball movement. More to the point, she just started to look really comfortable at the point this season. That's not an easy transition for a kid who looked early in her career like a pure scorer (and a very good one at that) but Graci made it seamlessly. Scarier still, I am not sure Miss Bastert has figured out how scary good she mightly ultimately become yet.
Reserve: ALEXIS VAN NOSTRAND, Palmyra
Why She's Here: Poise and Leadership. Lex's influence on the Palmyra Lady Panthers as well quantified by her individual stats as it was by her team's win total. Unflappable kid who controlled the basketball and directed the PLP Offense with great savvy and a minimum of mistakes. Perceptive Point Guard who averaged nearly four assists per game, but who also doubled as her team's second leading score (9 ppg) and could deliver buckets when necessary. Set a strong tone on defense with a team high 84 steals on the season and was a better than average rebounder for her position. First Team All Conference Pick who was rightly recognized as the steady hand that helped Palmyra to 24 wins and a perfect run through the CCC.
Second Team Selections
Starter: KRISTEN GENGENBACHER, Quincy Notre Dame
Why She's Here: Emergent star at the position who piloted her team to a state title with 10 points, 3 dimes and 3 steals nightly. High energy player who has already shown flashes of big time scoring ability to go along with her distribution skills. Will be on center stage for this program as a senior
Reserve: YANNI SADLER, Macomb
Why She's Here: Freakish quickness, ideal point guard attributes, and the ability to be a top end defensive catalyst. She's still a work in progress but even at 70% what she is ultimately going to be as a player, she's a 1st Team All Conference kid. Can score in a lot of ways. If she finds her comfort level with game tempo, could be a POY candidate.
Reserve: RACHEL MOTLEY, Western
Why She's Here: A combo guard who can really score the basketball (14 ppg) and one of the more prolific three point shooters in Tri State Basketball with over 140 attempts this season from distance. High motor kid who worked hard on defense, made smart passes, and put her heart and soul into elevating Western hoops.
Reserve: PAYTON GRUBER, Paris
Why She's Here: Love her scoring prowess, netting the Coyotes better than 18 points per game this season with better than 40% shooting from the 3 point arch and 80% efficiency from the charity stripe. All this despite defenses designed entirely to stop her. Tremendous leadership ability. Has pure point guard skills, but was force to play more of a two guard role in high school without many other proving scoring options. Highly underrated defender.
Third Team Selections
Starter: SHELBY DUNN, Clopton
Reserve: MISHAYLEE CLINE, Clark County
Reserve: TERESA SHEFFER, Hannibal
Reserve: CARLY RUNGE, West Hancock
First Team Selections
Starter: KASSIDY GENGENBACHER, QND
Why She's Here: Because her teammate keeps monopolizing POY honors. There is an argument to be made here that Kass might be the best girls player of the last decade not to win a Player of the Year nod. And to be honest, I am not sure I ever remember an area team, boys or girls, in my tenure boasting both the number one and two ranked players on our respective boards, but QND is the exception to that rule. We had Kass as our POY runner-up this season and even considered, briefly, splitting our top award between QND's two soon to be legendary seniors. Few things in sports are as hard to do as to shoot a basketball with consistency, which says so much about the unique skill set this First Team All State pick brought to the table. It's hard to remember a player with a more reliable mid-range and long range game. She shot 44% from the three point arch this season, which is absolutely astounding; better than a number of really good area scorers tallied from two point range. Thought her first half outing against Springfield Southeast was the best individual game performance I saw by any girls player this year. She might also be the most unselfish high volume scorer we've seen. Great and willing passer who probably could have netted another 5-8 points on her average (17.7 ppg) if she had a selfish bone in her body. Unsung defender with great anticipation and toughness. I'd argue Kassidy might have had the highest basketball IQ on this list as well. Tony Francis at Lindenwood has gotten the steal of the century here. And she's a 4.0 student to boot. Not to mention the best quote in Tri State High School sports. Kids like this are a godsend in my business. And in even more so in Eric Orne's line of work. Saying good bye to one or the other of QND's megapowers in one season is cruel enough. Can't imagine how much harder life gets in the absence of both next season. Just a pair of All Time Great basketball players...and young ladies as well.
Reserve: SHEA O'BRIEN, Pittsfield/Pleasant Hill
Why She's Here: Best Pure Scorer in the Tri States. And selfishly, my favorite highlight watch this winter because Shea was good for at least two head-turning buckets an evening. Miss O'Brien tallied nearly 20 points per night this season and could get buckets in all manner of ways. A gifted long ranger shooter who also doubled as one of the area's most fearless slashers. Her game is made even more special by her explosiveness; one of the best first steps anywhere; which also made her one of the region's most prolific thieves at three and half steals per game. I think she will be an even better college player at John Wood because teams will no longer be able to sell out against her defensively. And she will be able to showcase her floor vision and passing skills to a greater degree next season as well. Another really together young lady who excels in the classroom and lives and breathes the game.
Reserve: KATEE HINKLE, Palmyra
Why She's Here: Deadeye Marksmanship. The Lady Panther's resident sniper made a killing from the three point arch this season with 68 triples on 39% efficiency. And she was seemingly always wide open for the kick-out pass, which made everyone on the roster a little more open on offense the next time down the floor. A First Team All Clarence Cannon Conference selection, Katee was the very definition of "plucky" in providing the air support and defense her team needed to make its stellar second half run. Tough minded player who may have unofficially led the area in floor bruises per game. She finished the year averaging a team best 12.5 points per game and set a high standard with her defensive energy. She's got a really fine future ahead.
Reserve: NATALIE HALPIN, Routt Catholic
Why She's Here: I have a vision of amassing an army of players who can just flat kill it from three point range, so sue me. If you are going to corner the market on long range gunners, the ranks aren't complete without Routt's dead-eye assassin, thanks to her eye popping 43.5% shooting clip from distance. A Fourth Team IBCA All State Selection, Natalie further proved her chops by picking up the slack big time when Alyssa Garde got hurt for the injury riddled Lady Rockets. Halpin embraced the role of go-to weapon heartily and averaged better than 20 points per game after Alyssa's injury, finishing the year at a tidy clip of 14.1 points per night overall. Underrated passer and defender (3.2 steals per game) who with a great deal of heart who so thoroughly impressed us this season with her growth.
Second Team Selections
Starter: ARAI'YA DADE, Quincy High
Why She's Here: Aaron Afflao-type two who will thrive playing next to more Offensive-minded players at John Wood. Arai'ya can score but I think she is better when she doesn't have to carry an offense because she's so good at playing without the ball, finding the open player and moving the basketball, and giving you outsized backcourt rebounding and defense for a guard. A kid every coach would want on his/her team because even on nights she's not scoring, she finds ways to help you win.
Reserve: KIETTE MUNDY, Monroe City
Why She's Here: Matchup problems. She's too quick for even the fastest guards to stay in front of. More scorer (11ppg) than shooter, Kiette can absolutely electrify with some of her takes to the basket. And when its going, she is a virtuoso performer. Dangerous defender who produced nearly 3 steals per night.
Reserve: SHELBY KOEHLER, West Hancock
Why She's Here: High volume scoring. Wanted to be put off by her lack of size, but every time I watched her play I realized bigger defenders were impossibly challenged to check her and stop her from getting her shot. As good a streak shooter as you will find. And best of all, when's she's in the zone, she (in Kobe-esque Mamba fashion) won't take boot off throat. Good all around athlete who excels in a couple of sports but I was really impressed with how far along she's come her and embraced a tough role.
Reserve: KAELYN SPRATT, Marion County
Why She's Here: Stellar range. Assimilated nicely into the role of Number One scorer in the post Redd/RLP era and forced defenses to extend well beyond the three point line to compensate for her ability to drill shots from distance. Did a nice job handling the basketball and setting the offense this season for a team bereft of height. Gives you more than just scoring punch (her primary role on a team that needed it) and I think was a young lady who probably deserved more from everyone in terms of postseason awards consideration, but was eclipsed in a very deep year for senior talent.
Starter: KATIE TONRY, Routt Catholic
Reserve: JORDAN GREENFIELD, Central Lee
Reserve: LAYKN BOLTZ, Keokuk
Reserve: MEGAN CREEK, Scotland County
KHQA ALL DEFENSIVE TEAM
Center: KENZIE GROSSMAN, Mark Twain
Forward: JORDAN FRERICKS, QND
Forward: ERIN FLESNER, CSE
Guard: CARLY SPALDING, Monroe City
Guard: MAGGIE BOWLES, Unity
KHQA FUTURES TEAM
Center: VANESSA MARKERT, Brown County
Forward: MADELYN HYER, Liberty/Payson
Forward: ABBY LASHMETT, West Central
Guard: LOREN MELTON, Western
Guard: LAUREN DALE, Knox County
Sixth: MICHAELA GRONEWOLD, Illini West
KHQA ALL HUSTLE TEAM
Center: ALEXIS DOOLEY, West Hancock
Forward: MELANIE BLASE, Hannibal
AITLYN MCCLAIN, Bowling Green
Guard: HANNAH RELLER, Quincy High
Guard: EVIE MILES, Palmyra
Guard: KYLIE CONROW, Bowling Green
KHQA SLEEPERS TEAM
Forward: OLIVIA CRAGER, Monroe City
Forward: LAUREN LAGEMANN, Clopton
Guard: KAYDEE CARMODY, West Central
Guard: BAILEY MCCOY, Central Lee
Guard: BRITTNEY BERHORST, Canton